Tuesday, September 2, 2014

When in doubt, play a round of golf

The events of Ferguson, MO had inspired a much longer blog entry but world events have postponed that one.  Those events are a significant commentary on race and the state of policing in the United States.  Fortunately for Team Obama, world events have shifted and prevented a look at how ineffective the first "Black" President was at dealing with the racial issues.

The world is watching as a President continues to flail ineffectually at both foreign and domestic events.  It seems when the going gets tough, the Commander-In-Chief goes golfing.

Syria and Iraq are proving to be a kind of Waterloo for Obama.  He famously declared that the use of chemical weapons by Assad represented a "red-line"may be the more well-known example of Obama talking more than acting, but it now appears that by not providing aid to Syrian rebels Obama probably gave ISIS the boost it needed.  ISIS began in Syria but is having its greatest success in Iraq.  It will be interesting to see how this gets played up during the upcoming Presidential elections in 2016.

Obama promised to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan when he was campaigning.  He tried to make good on that promise (which was more of a sound byte rather than a real foreign policy goal), unfortunately Team Obama lack any real understanding of foreign policy.  Supporting an oppressive al-Maliki government set the stage for a successful effort by ISIS to further fracture Iraq.

For a while, it looked like Obama would have to depend on Tehran for help but that has not quite worked out the way he and his staff had hoped.  Attention drew away from Tehran when Netanyahu decided to put an end to Hamas.  Netanyahu did not hesitate in using the "Iron Dome" to defeat Hamas launched missiles, however he did not go so far as to expend Iron Dome missiles in the north for fear that Hezbollah (which has much more sophisticated missiles) might decided to attack northern Israel.

All of this of course was going on with a back-drop of Russia first annexing Crimea and now launching a full scale invasion into Ukraine.  Obama, noting his dropping approval numbers, decided to go the route of economic sanctions and "multi-lateral partnerships".  Unfortunately for Obama, Putin took steps to weather any economic sanctions and created his own "multi-lateral partnerships" (BRICS).

While Obama and his staff looked on without a viable option, Pakistan and China decided to to have their own internal strife (something Obama really has no answers for after Ferguson).  Even his humanitarian efforts are beginning to backfire with Western doctors contracting Ebola in West Africa.  It doesn't look good that somehow Western doctors with an incurable disease are being "cured" once they get back to the United States.   Either the docs were misdiagnosed (so are the people of West Africa) or there is a cure for Ebola (which the US isn't sharing).

The beheading of an American Journalist left Obama with no choice.  He begrudgingly agreed to authorize airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq.  For the umpteenth time, airstrikes alone do not work!  ISIS is a guerrilla force and since as far back as the Vietnam War, airpower alone has proven ineffective at dealing with guerrilla warfare.  Obama painted himself into a box when he jumped in front of a microphone and promised "no troops on the ground in Iraq".

Now reports are coming out that Kurdish fighters in the North and being supported by US Navy SEALS.  Interesting, the last I checked US Navy SEALS tend to fight on the ground or on ships.  At the same time, reports are coming out that there are US forces striking Al Qaeda cells in Somalia.  The pundits have been atwitter (sorry, I've been wanting to use that word today) with fears that ISIS will strike targets here on the good ole USA.  These same experts believe ISIS will travel here, crossing the border in Mexico to launch their attacks.  Yet history has shown that operatives are slipped into years before an attacked is launched.

Which gets back around to Ferguson.  Ferguson demonstrates that in many communities, the police are seen more as the problem rather than the solution.  If ISIS or some other group decides to attack the US, it may be far more expedient to incite riots in large cities than to detonate some type of weapon of mass destruction.

No comments: